- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌpɹiːpəˈzɛs/
Audio (Southern England) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˌpɹipəˈzɛs/
- Rhymes: -ɛs
- Hyphenation: pre‧pos‧sess
- Chiefly followed by by or with: to preoccupy (someone) in an emotional or mental way, so as to preclude other things.
- 1639, Thomas Fuller, “The Church-story during this Kings Reigne; The Remarkable Ruine of Rodolphus Patriarch of Antioch”, in The Historie of the Holy Warre, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: […] Thomas Buck, one of the printers to the Universitie of Cambridge [and sold by John Williams, London], OCLC 913016526, book II, page 70:
- 1642 April, John Milton, An Apology for Smectymnuus; republished in A Complete Collection of the Historical, Political, and Miscellaneous Works of John Milton, […], volume I, Amsterdam [actually London: s.n.], 1698, OCLC 926209975, page 172:
- A ſurer ſigne of his loſt ſhame he could not have given, then ſeeking thus unſeaſonably to prepoſſeſſe Men of his modeſty.
- 1749, [John Cleland], “[Letter the First]”, in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [Fanny Hill], volume I, London: […] G. Fenton [i.e., Fenton and Ralph Griffiths] […], OCLC 731622352, page 105:
- […] I vvas no novice in theſe matters, ſince he had taken me out of a common bavvdy-houſe: nor had I ſaid one thing to prepoſſeſs him of my virginity; […]
- (by extension) To cause (someone) to have a previous inclination against, for, or to something; to bias or prejudice; specifically, to induce in (someone) a favourable opinion beforehand, or at the outset.
- c. 1631 (date written; published 1654), Thomas Fuller, “A Comment on Ruth”, in John Eglington Bailey and William E[dward] A[rmytage] Axon, editors, The Collected Sermons of Thomas Fuller, D.D. […], volume I, London: The Gresham Press; Unwin Brothers, […]; Pickering & Chatto, […], published 1891, OCLC 974748052, chapter II, page 79:
- So Juſtice, which ſhould runne downe like a ſtreame, though it ariſeth out of a pure Fountaine, out of the breaſt of a ſincere and incorrupted Judge; yet if formerly it hath paſſed through the Mines of Gold and Silver, I meane, through bad Servants, who have taken bribes to prepoſſeſſe the Judge their Maſter with the prejudice of falſe informations, Juſtice hereby may be ſtrangely perverted and corrupted.
- 1818, [Mary Shelley], chapter II, in Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. […], volume I, London: […] [Macdonald and Son] for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, OCLC 830979744, page 71:
- M. Krempe was a little squat man, with a gruff voice and a repulsive countenance; the teacher, therefore, did not prepossess me in favour of his doctrine. Besides, I had a contempt for the uses of modern natural philosophy.
- 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter V, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698, page 68:
- Then came a maid with hand-bag and shawls, and after her a tall young lady. […] She looked around expectantly, and recognizing Mrs. Cooke's maid, who had stepped forward to relieve hers of the shawls, Miss Thorn greeted her with a smile which greatly prepossessed us in her favor.
- To cause (someone) to think a certain way.
- a. 1677, Matthew Hale, “Touching the Excellency of the Humane Nature in General”, in The Primitive Origination of Mankind, Considered and Examined According to the Light of Nature, London: […] William Godbid, for William Shrowsbery, […], published 1677, OCLC 42005461, section I, page 69:
- [T]his brief Inventory I have here given as preparatory to vvhat follovvs, and to pre-poſſeſs the Reader, 1. That a natural Indagation according to the light of natural Reaſon touching the Origination of ſuch a Creature as this, is no contemptible or unvvorthy enquiry.
- 1738, [John] Gay, “Fable III. The Baboon and the Poultry. To a Levee-hunter.”, in Fables, volume II, London: […] J[ohn] and P[aul] Knapton, […]; and T[homas] Cox, […], OCLC 863501888, pages 17–18:
- VVith partial eye vve're apt to ſee / The man of noble pedigree. / VVe're prepoſſeſt my lord inherits / In ſome degree his grandſire's merits; / For thoſe vve find upon record, / But find him nothing but my lord.
- 1811, [Jane Austen], chapter XI, in Sense and Sensibility […], volume II, London: […] C[harles] Roworth, […], and published by T[homas] Egerton, […], OCLC 20599507, page 217:
- […] Fanny and Mrs. Ferrars were both strongly prepossessed that neither she nor her daughters were such kind of women as Fanny would like to associate with.
- To occupy or possess (something) beforehand.
- 1614, Walter Ralegh [i.e., Walter Raleigh], “Of the Second Punick Warre”, in The Historie of the World […], London: […] William Stansby for Walter Burre, […], OCLC 37026674, 1st book, §. XI (Strange Reports of the Roman Victories in Spaine, before Asdrubal the Sonne of Amilcar, Followed thence His Brother Hannibal into Italie), page 478:
- All paſſages out of their campe Martius [Gaius Lucius Marcius Septimus] hath prepoſſeſſed, ſo that there is no vvay to eſcape, ſaue by leaping dovvne the Rampart: […]
- a. 1717 (date written), Robert South, “Sermon II. Job viii. 13.”, in Five Additional Volumes of Sermons Preached upon Several Occasions. […], volume X, London: […] Charles Bathurst, […], published 1744, OCLC 1003976319, page 42:
- Hope is that vvhich antedates, and prepoſſeſſes a future good; that ſets it in the vievv of the vvill, vvhich alone puts all the faculties in motion.
- (reflexive, chiefly passive) Chiefly followed by of or with: to cause (oneself) to obtain possession of something beforehand, or ahead of someone else.
- to prepossess oneself of land
- To cause (someone) to think a certain way.
to preoccupy (someone) in an emotional or mental way, so as to preclude other things